dedication: for a stewardship sunday

Submitted by the Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL. A prayer of dedication, used for Stewardship Sunday / parable of the talents.

One: Creator of all, the earth is yours,
the world and all who live in it.
All: You have entrusted us with gifts—
time, talent, energy, money—
and asked us to use them to build your kingdom.
With thanks and praise we respond to your call.
One: We bring these gifts you have given,
returning your generosity, paying it forward.
All: We offer ourselves, our lives, our hopes and fears,
our dollars and our hours.
We commit ourselves to work for your world,
to love and serve wherever you call.
One: We ask your blessing on this, your church,
as we seek to follow you with heart, mind, and soul.
All: Bless also these gifts, our investment in your future,
that they may multiply in faith, hope, and love.
Amen.

confession: a closet of unused tools

Submitted by the Rev. Teri Peterson, Ridgefield Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church, Crystal Lake IL.

A confession about our talents…parable and otherwise.

One: Generous God, giver of every good gift,
you have offered us abundance
and yet we do not know how to use it.
All: Sometimes we keep it to calm our fear,
saving up for our own security,
insurance against days of scarcity.
One: Sometimes we hoard,
wanting to have the most and the best.
All: Sometimes we insist we don’t have anything to offer,
closing our eyes to the talents you bestow.
One: But mostly we are inertia-bound.
All: We know what to do, but we don’t do it.
You give us the tools to do your work,
but we just look at them in wonder,
then put them away in the closet.
One: Forgive us, O God.
All: Open our eyes, our hands, our hearts,
to know your abundance is enough for all,
to know your gifts are for using, not looking at,
to know we are blessed in order to be a blessing to others,
and to act on that knowledge.
We pray in the name of Christ,
who gave of everything he had.
Amen.

Sunday’s Coming: working toward November 13

These waning days of Ordinary Time can be so challenging–some of us are still wrapping up Stewardship campaigns (check out the Stewardship brainstorming conversation for ideas about dedication, consecration, actions of commitment, and maybe to collaborate on writing a litany if you still need one!). We also have a call to worship for a commitment Sunday–check it out if that’s you this week!

Some of us are working through the interminable Matthew parables, this week working on everyone’s favorite: the talents. There’s nothing quite like a stewardship commitment sermon on the text “to those who have, more will be given, and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” Oh, the prayers of confession we could write with that!

Maybe you’re detouring to Deborah this week, in keeping with the women who were prepared last week. She was certainly prepared–but for what? What do these women of prepared faith tell us in this time?

Maybe you’re still in Thessalonians, contemplating the end (or at least the end of the liturgical year!). What does a life lived “in the day” look like during these days of waning daylight in the northern hemisphere? How can we encourage one another as we enter this season of giving thanks (in the US)?

Do you have a direction? A liturgical need? A call to worship or a prayer of confession you want to share? A prayer of dedication for our talents, buried or invested? The perfect hymn idea?

Join the conversation as we create together.